Sacto 9-1-1
February 15, 2013
Galt man admits torching problem-prone car to collect insurance money

A Galt man has admitted to destroying his car with intention of collecting the insurance money.

Anthony Arinaga, 34, admitted to a felony charge of vehicular arson with the intent to defraud his auto insurance company, a strike under California's Three Strikes Law, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

Arinaga had a vehicle that needed frequent and costly repairs, so he and a friend decided to destroy the car, authorities said. Arinaga planned to file a false stolen vehicle report with police and a false insurance claim.

The morning of Sept. 11, 2011, Arinaga and the friend drove separate cars to a remote area near Stockton, where Arinaga set his car on fire, then left with the friend, who drove him home.

Later that morning, Arinaga called the Galt Police Department and said he had just discovered that his car had been stolen. When a police officer went to Arinaga's home to take a stolen vehicle report, Arinaga and his wife, Christina Arinaga, initially told the officer that their car had been stolen. But under further questioning, they both admitted lying about the car theft, authorities said.

Anthony Arinaga is to be sentenced March 15 in Sacramento Superior Court.

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